Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttaranikāyo
Catukkanipāto
XIII: Bhaya Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
XIII: Fears

Sutta 121

Bhaya Suttaṃ

Self-Reproach

Translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, M.A.

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[1] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī.

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

"Yes, lord," they replied, and the Exalted One said:

"Monks, there are these four fears.

What four?

Fear of self-reproach,
fear of others' reproach,[1]
fear of punishment
and fear of the way of woe.

And what, monks, is fear of self-reproach?

Herein, monks, a certain one thus reflects:

Were I to practise evil conduct in body, speech and thought,
would not the self reproach me[2]
as to virtue therein?

Accordingly,
scared by the fear of self-reproach,
he abandons the practice
of evil conduct in body, speech and thought,
and makes-to-grow the practice
of good conduct in body, speech and thought,
and carries about[3] a pure self.

This, monks, is called
'fear of self-reproach.'

And what, monks, is fear of others' reproach?

Herein, monks, a certain one thus reflects:

Were I to practise evil conduct in body, speech and thought,
would not others [126] reproach[4] me
as to virtue therein?

Accordingly,
scared by the fear of others' reproach,
he abandons the practice
of evil conduct in body, speech and thought,
and makes-to-grow the practice
of good conduct in body, speech and thought,
and carries about a pure self.

This, monks, is called
'the fear of others' reproach.'

And what, monks, is fear of punishment?

In this case a certain one beholds the rajahs seizing a bandit,
a miscreant,
and subjecting him to divers forms of punishment;
flogging him with whips,
with canes
or cudgels;
cutting off his hand,[ed1]
his foot,
hand and foot,
his ear,
nose,
ear and nose;
torturing him with the 'gruel-pot,'
with the 'chank-shave'
torturing him with 'Rahu's mouth,'
with the 'fire-garland,'
with the 'flaming hand,'
with the 'hay-twist,'
the 'bark-dress,'
with the 'antelope,'
with 'flesh-hooking,'
with the 'disc-slice,'
with the 'pickling process,'
with 'circling the pin,'
torturing him with the 'straw-mattress.'

Then they spray him with boiling oil,
give him as food to dogs,
spit him alive on a stake
and chop his head off.[5]

Then he thinks thus:

If I were to do such deeds
as those for which the rajahs seize a bandit,
a miscreant,
and so treat him to divers forms of punishment;
flogging him with whips,
with canes
or cudgels;
cutting off his hand,
his foot,
hand and foot,
his ear,
nose,
ear and nose;
torturing him with the 'gruel-pot,'
with the 'chank-shave'
torturing him with 'Rahu's mouth,'
with the 'fire-garland,'
with the 'flaming hand,'
with the 'hay-twist,'
the 'bark-dress,'
with the 'antelope,'
with 'flesh-hooking,'
with the 'disc-slice,'
with the 'pickling process,'
with 'circling the pin,'
torturing him with the 'straw-mattress'
or they spray him with boiling oil,
give him as food to dogs,
spit him alive on a stake
or chop his head off
they would surely treat me
to divers forms of punishment;
flogging me with whips,
with canes
or cudgels;
cutting off my hand,
my foot,
my hand and foot,
my ear,
nose,
my ear and nose;
torturing me with the 'gruel-pot,'
with the 'chank-shave'
torturing me with 'Rahu's mouth,'
with the 'fire-garland,'
with the 'flaming hand,'
with the 'hay-twist,'
the 'bark-dress,'
with the 'antelope,'
with 'flesh-hooking,'
with the 'disc-slice,'
with the 'pickling process,'
with 'circling the pin,'
torturing me with the 'straw-mattress'
or they would spray me with boiling oil,
give me as food to dogs,
spit me alive on a stake
or chop my head off.

Thus scared by the fear of punishment
he goes not about plundering others' property.

This, monks, is called
'fear of punishment.'

And what, monks, is the fear of the way of woe?

In this case a certain one thus reflects:

For one who practises
evil conduct in body, speech and thought
there is a bad result in the life to come.

Now if I were to practise
evil conduct in body, speech and thought,
when body breaks up,
should not I be reborn after death
in the waste,
the way of woe,
the downfall,
in purgatory?

Accordingly,
scared by the fear of the way of woe
he abandons the practice
of evil conduct
and makes-to-grow
the practice of good conduct in body, speech and thought,
and carries about a pure self.

This, monks, is called the
'fear of the way of woe.'

So these, monks, are the four fears."

 


[1] This is hiri-ottappaṃ.

[2] Text kiñ ca taṃ kammaṃ attā, but Sinh. text kiñ ca taṃ maṃ attā, which I follow. Others, apparently to get rid of this attā and maṃ difficulty, read kiñci taṃ kammaṃ; kiñci kammaṃ; kiñ ca taṃ; kiñ ca taṃ dhammaṃ, etc. Cf. G.S. i, 52, 130, 133.

[3] Cf. ch. I, ĪĪ 3, 4.

[4] Text should read upavadeyyuṃ.

[5] For these tortures see D. i, 276; Mil.P. 197; G.S. i (The Twos), p. 42 n.

 


[ed1] Woodward has 'head' here.


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